ECLA 2023 Fall Conference


The in-person ECLA Conference will be held in Michigan this year!! We have a great line-up of presentations for librarians and book lovers alike. Check it out and register now, the dates are September 22-23rd, 2023.


Event Information

Date: September 22-23/2023

Location: Berean Baptist Church, 7813 S. 12th St., Portage, MI

Registration Fees: $40 registration which includes lunch

What’s on the conference schedule?

Keynote: Lynn Austin – A Candle of Hope

Author Anne Lamott writes, “Novels ought to have hope…There’s no point in writing hopeless novels. We all know we’re going to die.” Good Christian fiction serves as a candle of hope in a dark world, offering glimpses of how God’s redemptive plan is at work in our lives.

Bestselling author Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide. She is an eight-time Christy Award winner for her historical novels, as well as a popular speaker at retreats and conventions. Her novel “Hidden Places” was made into a Hallmark movie starring actress Shirley Jones as Aunt Batty. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and live in Michigan.

Susie Finkbeiner – The Stories We Tell Together

Susie Finkbeiner is the author of The Nature of Small Birds, Stories That Bind Us, and All Manner of Things which was selected as a 2020 Michigan Notable Book. The All-American is her ninth novel. She lives in West Michigan with her husband and their three children. “The stories we tell together” All about the power of story to build community, to encourage/offer hope, and to glorify God (and how the writers aren’t the only ones doing so…readers/librarians are an essential part of the process).

Mary Morgan – The New You Mary Morgan has a passion for traveling, visiting all 50 states, looking for the next one to right about. She has developed the National Park Series for kids. She and her husband Randy live in Lansing, MI.



Chris Jager & Jessica Moore – The Latest Book recommendations

Chris Jager Librarian

Chris and Jessica have a wonderful list of new likes for you to enjoy and to add to your library shelves.

Chris Jager stumbled on the perfect job and over 23 years later is still enjoying working at Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has always been a reader and now shares that love with readers every day. She also loves to spend time with her family and 2 funny dogs.

Jessica Moore

Jessica started out hating reading, until her mother got her hooked on a series and refused to continue reading them to her. Now she lives and breathes books, working at Baker Book House for 3+ years, reading in every spare moment, and writing her own books.

With a combined 25+ years of experience recommending the perfect book for every season, these two book ladies will talk about their current favorites in the Christian book world. Jessica will be book talking her children’s Christian books and Chris will be book talking adult Christian fiction.

Roundtable – Denise Roberts & Debbie DeHart  This will be a discussion time, sharing suggestions, ideas, and solutions that you can use to improve and develop your church library. Come with questions from the day or questions that need discussing and brainstorming. Moderators: Debbie Dehart & Denise RobertsDenise Roberts ecla conference

Denise Robert is a pioneer in the homeschool movement who taught her own six children, Denise also wrote and directed a girls’ mentoring program. Initially created with her daughter in mind, it continued on for seventeen years after she graduated. In addition to being a librarian, Denise’s hobbies include speaking, writing, reading, sewing, enjoying retirement with her husband, and, whenever possible, spending time with their thirteen grandchildren.   Debbie Dehart ECLA Conference

Debbie Dehart has been an avid reader (in two languages) all her life, even when she lived overseas and English books were hard to come by. She has been a librarian at Berean Baptist Church in Portage, MI since 2013, and because organization and the Dewey Decimal System are among her favorite things, she especially loves cataloging and making sure everything in the library is in order. She lives in Schoolcraft, MI with Terry, her husband of 40 years. Their four children, three children-in-law and eight granddaughters all live within a twenty-minute drive.

A Friday night author roundtable will be held at Baker Books. Participating authors will be:

  • Glenys Nellist
  • Candice Sue Patterson
  • Mel Starr
  • Linda Taylor
  • Jill Eileen Smith

On Saturday, we will also have authors who will have tables of books to sell and autograph. Each of the following authors will join us for lunch, as well.

  • Glenys Nellist
  • Candace Sue Patterson
  • Jill Eileen Smith
  • Ann Spangler
  • Mel Starr
  • Linda Taylor

Besides all these wonderful presentations, all attendees will receive many new books to take home in the book giveaway and everyone is invited to the book swap whether you bring books or not. Lunch will be provided. The fellowship and networking with other librarians and book lovers is an invaluable part of this conference. Don’t miss it!

Register for the Fall 2023 Conference below by Filing out the form and pressing the Paypal Checkout button, this will take you to Paypal for payment.

*Please label your payment Fall Conference 2023 when you make it through Paypal*

*The conference fee is 40usd which includes lunch*